Tampa White Collar Crime Lawyer
White-collar criminal charges must be taken very seriously. In addition to the prospect of fines and lengthy jail sentences, convicted offenders can also be forced to pay restitution to the victims, and they can have their assets seized as well. Many white-collar crimes are federal offenses prosecuted by the Department of Justice and federal agencies such as the IRS or SEC. These federal agencies have large staffs of federal officers and agents and abundant resources to put toward investigating and prosecuting white-collar crime. Prosecutors often seek the maximum penalty to make an example of the defendant and make a name for themselves, and federal sentencing guidelines for white-collar crimes include stiff penalties.
If you’ve been arrested for a white-collar crime in Tampa, or if you are under investigation for a crime but an arrest has not yet been made, call Scriven Law, P.A., for immediate assistance. Tampa white collar crime lawyer Bryant Scriven will work with the law enforcement agents or prosecutors on the other side to prevent serious charges from being filed or will put together a strong, strategic defense to help you get a favorable outcome in your case.
What Is a White-Collar Crime?
Unlike theft offenses, weapons offenses or sex crimes, there isn’t one single chapter in the Florida statutes that lists different white-collar criminal offenses. There isn’t even anywhere in Florida or federal law that defines what white-collar crime is. Generally speaking, though, white-collar crime is a non-violent criminal offense that is committed through the use of deception rather than force or the threat of force.
Below are a few examples of commonly-charged white-collar criminal offenses:
Fraud. Fraud involves causing harm to another through dishonest acts for the purpose of personal or financial gain. Fraud can include credit card fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud, mortgage fraud, tax fraud, insurance fraud, bank fraud, identity theft, pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, and more.
Embezzlement. Embezzlement involves the misuse of funds by a public official or any private employee who is entrusted with public funds or company accounts.
Insider Trading. Insider trading involves buying or selling stocks based on access to confidential information that is not publicly known or ascertainable.
Bribery. Bribery involves offering something of value to a public official in an attempt to get the official to act in a certain way in his or her official capacity.
Public Corruption. The crime of public corruption is committed by an elected official who accepts or solicits something of value in exchange for using their influence as an elected official.
Money Laundering. Money laundering refers to actions taken to conceal money which was obtained illegally, such as by funneling the money through legitimate businesses or fraudulent bank accounts.
Forgery. Forgery involves making a false instrument or altering a writing so that is false and then using that instrument with the intent to defraud someone for personal gain.
Tax Evasion. Tax evasion occurs when one illegally tries to avoid paying taxes due. This is a complicated area where it can be difficult to discern whether a certain act or activity constitutes illegal tax evasion or lawful tax avoidance.
How Can You Defend Against Charges of White-Collar Crime?
White-collar crimes only exist if they are created by some state or federal law, so it is especially important to closely examine the law that is alleged to be violated. The laws that define white-collar criminal offenses are often extremely detailed and highly intricate. In some areas, such as tax laws or securities, the laws are so complex that legal scholars debate whether a particular act is or is not a violation of the statute. In addition to the laws themselves, the facts surrounding a white-collar case are often complicated as well, requiring the production and analysis of volumes of financial records or corporate documents. Defending against a white-collar charge requires taking the time to thoroughly understand the facts and law at hand to make a case that the alleged criminal behavior was unintentional, not actually illegal, or is otherwise defensible.
As with all criminal cases, the burden falls on the prosecution to prove its case. As a defense law firm, we put forward a strong defense that challenges the prosecutor’s case and forces them to prove every element of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. We’ll also work to uncover any procedural errors or violations of a defendant’s rights that occurred along the way, and if we find them, we’ll move to have the evidence suppressed, the charges dropped or the case dismissed.
Help With White-Collar Criminal Defense in Tampa
If you have been charged with a white-collar crime or believe you may be under investigation for a federal white-collar criminal offense, call a Tampa white collar crime lawyer at Scriven Law, P.A., at 813-226-8522 to discuss the best strategy and approach for your defense.